Outdated Negative Information

Most types of negative credit information must be removed after certain periods of time, according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and having this information removed is among the most effective ways to improve your credit profile and even your credit scores.

Most outdated negative information must be removed from your report after roughly seven years, such as charge-off accounts, collection accounts (seven years from the date of default), judgments, foreclosures, paid tax liens (seven years after the lien was released), Chapter 13 bankruptcy (seven years from the date of discharge), and auto repossessions. Chapter 7 bankruptcy should be removed about ten years after the date of discharge.

Outdated information can be disputed with the credit bureau which provided it, and online disputes can potentially remove certain types of information months before they are legally due to be removed. You can also engage in disputes via regular mail to keep a “paper trail” of your communication and negotiations with one or more of the major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Removing outdated negative information can quickly (but incrementally) improve your credit score, and remember to focus on the increases in onescore from one bureau, since your score may vary slightly depending on which credit bureau provides it.

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